Monday, January 12, 2009

It's in the bag

Do you know what you cannot recycle?  PLASTIC BAGS!  Americans use billions of plastic bags (yes, that's billions with a B) and so far only California and New York have started plastic bag recycling programs.  Where do the rest of them end up?  In landfills, in the ocean, in the tree you pass every day driving down the road.  And it's not only about where they end up, it's about where they came from too...plastic is made from oil...which means using plastic bags is hurting the Earth to hurt the Earth some more.

That's the bad news (I know, not so kind to start the Monday with bad news).  The good news is that lots of people are doing lots about it.  I know you have seen reusable bags somewhere.  Everyone has gotten in on the craze, from your local supermarket to big box stores, they are all offering their own version of Mama E saving tote.  So get some, use some, doesn't really matter what kind.  But just in case you are looking for a recommendation, here are my favorite.  They are called Envirosax and they come in cute little pouch of 5 bags which roll up into the size of a hanky. I like this because I can stick the whole pouch in my glove compartment (I actually have 3 pouches there) and pull out one bag for a quick trip or the whole pouch for grocery shopping (like I need to do today). 

I own the black and white set (2 of those) and the retro graphic set. My husband is especially fond of this set because it isn't too "girly" so he can use the bags to take his lunch to work and his gym stuff to the Y.  We also stuff a few in our suitcases when we travel so we can separate dirty clothes from clean clothes and I can easily throw them in the wash when we get home.  And I always have one tucked in my diaper bag/purse just in case I make a surprise purchase.  This is especially helpful during garage sale season!

And we have made another reusable bag investment I am really happy with.  About a year ago I went the extra step and got reusable produce bags.  Just think of how many produce bags people must use...and rarely reuse.  So I got us these and we love 'em.  The set comes with produce and grain bags, which are great for bulk items like granola and nuts.  These stay in the glove compartment as well and have really helped us cut back on our waste.  

And if none of those appeal to you, check out Etsy for all kinds of unique handmade bag finds that will support artisans.  

The important thing is that you find one that works for you.  Because you could own all the reusable bags in the world, but it doesn't matter unless you use them.   So jump on the bag-wagon!

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